Opinion writer

* Andrew Kramer and Sharon LaFraniere report that it turns out that Russian lawyer is connected to the Kremlin after all:

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.

But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.

Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. During an interview to be broadcast Friday by NBC News, she acknowledged that she was not merely a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general.

But if you say “No collusion!” three times into the mirror, she’ll disappear.

* Lachlan Markay and Sam Stein report on the kind of people who get access to Mick Mulvaney:

Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s top budget and financial consumer watchdog, had a hierarchy of access in his former congressional office: first were constituents, then lobbyists who’d donated to his campaign, and then, at the bottom, lobbyists who hadn’t.

Mulvaney no longer has constituents. But according to his internal schedule, he’s continued taking meetings with lobbyists and companies who financed his past political campaigns.

At least eight registered lobbyists and six other executives who donated to Mulvaney’s congressional campaigns—or whose companies’ political action committees did the same—got an audience with the South Carolina Republican when he landed atop the Office of Management and Budget. That’s according to a Daily Beast analysis of campaign finance records, lobbying disclosure forms, and OMB visitor logs dating from January 2017 through September 2017.

Look, he has to prepare for what happens when his time in government is over. How is he going to pick between all the corporations that want to reward his service to them if he doesn’t meet with them now?

* Mike DeBonis, John Wagner, and Paul Kane report that Paul Ryan is getting all kinds of flack for firing the House chaplain.

* Jake Pearson and Stephen Braun report that Michael Cohen and his father-in-law have lent $26 million to an associate from the taxi medallion business who’s now getting into the marijuana business.

* Shahien Nasiripour and Caleb Melby report that Michael Cohen’s finances may be in dire straits, which could have an impact on whether he’ll flip on Trump.

* Philip Bump looks at the bizarre redactions in the GOP’s new House Intelligence Committee report, which reveal what a hilariously slapdash joke it really is.

* Rep. Adam Schiff offers a Twitter thread hilighting the big revelations in the Democrats’ response to that GOP effort.

* Dean Baker explains why a federal job guarantee would be extremely hard to implement.

* Jessica Valenti explains why misogynist terrorism has become such a serious problem.

* Kathryn Cramer Brownell asks why, if Trump has a history as a TV star, his White House does such a crappy job at stagecraft.

* Brian Stelter reports that the owner of the conservative site RedState has fired everyone who wasn’t sufficiently loyal to Trump.

* At The Week, I argued that Democrats should get on board with Kirsten Gillibrand and others who have proposed postal banking.

* And Kellyanne Conway told Fox & Friends that Trump wants to come on the show once a month. Allow me to speak for the entire news media when I say that would be awesome.